CREDITS: Tsukasa Saimura
PUBLISHER: Seven Seas
RELEASE DATE: Out now
This review was originally published in MyM Magazine. Subscribe here.
With zombie horror stories a dime a dozen, it’s not easy to find a new angle on our brain-hungry chums. Fortunately for anyone with zombie fatigue, Tsukasa Saimura’s Hour Of The Zombie manages to bring a just such a twist to the well-worn formula. Not that you’d guess it from the initial set-up.
Main character Akira has a penchant for boxing and a major crush on a girl named Kurumi, who in turn fancies Akira’s friend and fellow boxer Umezawa. One day, some students at Akira’s school start biting their classmate… and we all know what that means. Sadly for our hero, Kurumi is one of those infected in the zombie outbreak.
The first break from the norm is that Akira doesn’t immediately turn into a zombie slaughtering machine – instead he’s more interested in saving his beloved Kurumi. More unexpectedly, Kurumi herself seems to snap out of her zombiefied state. With the help of Umezawa, the pair go in search of other students before those who have been bitten return to their flesh-eating ways. The upshot is that the now lucid infected and their healthy classmates attempt to separate to prevent further carnage.
Hour Of The Zombie’s main appeal comes from the fact that its zombies are able to regain some form of self-control for brief periods of time. The challenge for the survivors is that they don’t know when the zombies will get all bitey again. Combine that with Akira’s dilemma-inducing love for the infected Kurumi, and you’ve got a zombie manga that stands out from the shambling horde.
Review by Ian Wolf